Influenced by abstract expressionist painter Hans Hoffman’s color sense and abstract artist Mark Rothko’s spirituality, Klein’s paintings are filled with highly saturated colors and geometric shapes. Her pieces are ultimately about spirituality and going beyond the every day world. “There is a sort of questioning aspect,” says Klein, who studied philosophy at Columbia. “What is reality? What is the truth behind what we see?”
Klein’s work continues to evolve, becoming more abstract with color and geometry at the center or her compositions. “My work is starting to change right now,” says Klein. “I am going through an amazing period. My work is starting to deconstruct.” Deconstruction, reduction, and rebuilding are the dominant styles she uses to develop her work. Klein says it’s also important for her to look back at her artwork. “You can work on one painting for the rest of your life,” says Klein. “You think your finishing [a piece] then you see how you can change it, enhance it, improve on it.” Many times she finds herself returning to earlier paintings and reworking them.
Not until Klein was out of her element and out of America all together did she start seriously painting. Moving to Israel at the age of 23, she bought some art supplies, leading to a realization that painting was what she wanted—and needed—to do. After living in New York City for many years she moved to the Hudson Valley in 1995. Klein currently resides in the Dutchess County town of Clinton Corners. Moving north helped her heighten her color sense—in particular, the inclusion of a lot more varieties of green in her paintings. Klein feels green has an incredible sense of peace and calmness.
She is also part of an artist co-op known as GAS—an acronym for Gallery and Studio—with Franc Palaia, Michael Sibilia, Stacie Flint, Patrick Wing, Aaron Miller, Michael Asbill, and Jose Acosta. GAS, located at 196 Main Street in Poughkeepsie, is a multimedia gallery which presents exhibitions of a vast variety of contemporary art. It also holds musical performances, video and film screenings, as well as poetry slams.
Klein’s work will be exhibited at the Sharada Gallery, 45 East Market Street in Rhinebeck, February 23 through March 31. She will have a solo exhibition at the GAS Gallery and Studio March 15-April 13. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, March 15, 5 to 7pm. For more information:www.sharadagallery.com or www.galleryandstudio.org. Portfolio: www.joanneklein.com.